Being a model for your grandchild

The conversations you have with your grandchild and others about this situation are important. Be mindful of conversations your grandchild may overhear and how you speak of the parent. It is okay to be honest about your feelings, but remember that the child has feelings, too. Even very young children can understand more than you may think, especially about feelings. Also remember that a young child may be confused by things that seem simple to an adult.

Talking about your feelings can show your grandchildren how to express their feelings.You may need to help your grandchild talk about her feelings.Young children may not know the word that "matches" how they are feeling.You may have to help them describe how they are feeling by helping them name their feelings. For example, when your grandchild is crying you might say,"It looks like something is upsetting you. Are you feeling sad?"This can be especially helpful when a child is frustrated or having a hard time communicating.

Children may also use play as a way to show their feelings.Taking time to play with your grandchild and listening to what is being said during play may give you an insight into their thoughts and feelings. For an older grandchild, conversations may be easiest in places that are less "threatening," such as the car.This may give your grandchild the space needed to feel comfortable talking with you. As you decide how to approach them about a subject, remember to take your grandchild's age and development into consideration.

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